I am a rising senior at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, pursuing a degree in English. This summer, I am incredibly appreciative that I have the opportunity to work two internships. I am an Education Intern at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knolls Shores and a blogger for Emerald Isle Realty. I am so grateful to the Batten/Wax family to be able to work with Emerald Isle Realty for my third summer! Although my home is in Raleigh, I have had the best of both worlds by also vacationing, then living part-time in Emerald Isle over the last two decades. My family has owned our home away from home here since 2003, but I fell in love with the Crystal Coast long before then. I started off as a toddler chasing after seagulls and developed into a young adult trying to master surfing. I am also an avid skimboarder. I am a collegiate softball player, a writer, a bit of a goofball, and a daughter to two amazing parents. I am so happy to be writing about my favorite beach. I cannot imagine a better job than to share my insider knowledge about my favorite place in the world — Emerald Isle.
I have been visiting Emerald Isle since I was a baby, and it has been my favorite place in the world for as long as I can remember. In fact, I still recall my first time walking into Emerald Isle Realty. I held my mother’s hand behind the reservations counter; I heard friendly voices but was too short to see who was speaking. I looked upward at the fish decorations that dangled above me and was amazed. Who knew one day I would be working from behind that counter? I remember my mom showing me how to build sand castles and my father digging me giant holes on the shore. I still can envision my mother reaching down into the wet sand to show me little creatures I found quite amusing; sand crabs.
I can’t help but crack a smile when I think about my first time on a jet ski. Dolphins jumped all around us as I held onto my father tightly — and I screamed and screamed as tears flooded my face like two giant waterfalls. That was probably my scariest moment here other than being caught in a rip current. So here are some tips: don’t take an unwilling child on a jet ski. Also, don’t swim when there are rip currents. Please pay attention to the red flags because those waving warnings can save your life. Anyway, back to the good stuff. I still have pictures my parents took of me smiling with my hands reaching out as I ran towards seagulls. At the time I thought they were just ordinary birds. I hadn’t learned what they were really called: Laughing Seagulls due to the loud squawk they make that sounds like laughter. I did not know that feeding one would cause an army of them to come flying towards me like a tidal wave. There was so much I had to learn, but there was one thing I knew for sure, and that was “I love this place”.
I learned how to skimboard when I was seven years old. I fell more times than I can count, but I was later told, “If you’re not falling, you’re not trying hard enough,” which was said by someone I had just met beachside. She had a giant grin on her face. People on the beach are always happier. I went from shuffling along the beach as a toddler, to running as a collegiate athlete. I started skimboarding with nothing but seashell scratches and a smile to show for it afterward and now I’m trying to surf as best as I can. I wonder what I’ll do next. I told you earlier that I went from looking behind the reservations counter as a child to standing behind it as an employee at Emerald Isle Realty. I have also told you a bit about the time in between. I expected to be nervous my first day of work at Emerald Isle Realty, but I wasn’t. The unfamiliar faces around the office became my family—from my manager to the key master. Emerald Isle is such a giant piece of my life. It is part of my past, it is part of my present, and I guarantee it will be part of my future.